Company News, 2004-03-30, 02:00 AM
Emissions trading compromise a step in the right direction
ThyssenKrupp Steel AG welcomes the National Allocation Plan now presented by the German government for the emissions trading scheme planned to commence in 2005 as a step in the right direction. "But this compromise does not yet create a level playing field in the European steel industry. Other countries are being more generous in the allocation of certificates and economic bonuses," said Prof. Dr. Ulrich Middelmann, Executive Board Chairman of Thyssen Krupp Steel AG. "Should it turn out that we are at a disadvantage when the national allocation plans are presented in Brussels, we reserve the right to take legal action."
Based on initial estimates, the burdens from the emissions trading scheme will still run into the millions, money which will then not be available for investment. For this reason, no decision will be taken on the investment in blast furnace 8, slated to replace the 30-year-old blast furnace 4, until it is clear how much must now be spent on purchasing CO2 certificates. "Major question marks remain over our medium and long-term investment policy because there are still legal uncertainties relating to the Brussels directive on emissions trading," emphasized Prof. Dr. Ulrich Middelmann.
Prof. Dr. Middelmann sees the greatest progress compared with previous plans in the recognition of economic opportunities, the so-called ex-post conditions for process-related CO2 emissions. This was a hotly disputed issue in the negotiations between the environment and economics ministries. "If the economy picks up, we would now have to buy fewer certificates," said Prof. Dr. Middelmann. On behalf of the workforce at ThyssenKrupp Steel he thanked German Economics Minister Wolfgang Clement for gaining acceptance in the political debate of the special problems facing the steel industry.
"The German steel industry is sticking to its voluntary commitment and will achieve its CO2 reduction targets by 2010. This will be our contribution to the desired reduction in greenhouse gases," affirmed Prof. Dr. Middelmann. The steel industry has committed to reduce CO2 emissions by a total of 22% in the period 1990 to 2010. 19% of this has already been realized. "It is hard to understand that even with unemployment at almost 5 million in Germany, the Environment Ministry continues to impede growth. We operate the most advanced iron and steel mills in the world and have pioneered the highest standards of environmental and climate protection."
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